Billy Butler of the 2011 Royals meets Bill Butler of the 1969 Royals
A few days ago, a Royals associate received an e-mail from Bill Butler, a member of the original 1969 Royals. In the e-mail, the former Royal and current West Virginia resident explained that he would be in Kansas City with his wife, Pat, and would be interested in a tour of the stadium. The message was passed on to Morrie Carlson, the club’s Manager of Ballpark Tours. Carlson called Butler and got the details of his trip.
Bill and Pat are attending tonight’s game – and here’s a picture of Bill with current Royal Billy Butler! (For the record, Baseball-Reference.com lists only one other Bill or Billy Butler on a major league team – and that Bill Butler played in nine games for the Indianapolis Hoosiers of the American Association in 1884!)
We caught up with Morrie’s tour before tonight’s game. Bill was explaining a picture of old Municipal Stadium to Pat. The couple also received a tour of the Royals Hall of Fame, where director Curt Nelson showed them a Royals hat worn by Bill!
Bill’s baseball career took him to Cleveland in 1972, so he never played at the current stadium as a Royal. However, he told us that he did help build the stadium in the offseason alongside Frank White and other players! (Bill had the chance to catch up with Frank tonight). Bill later pitched here as a member of the Twins (and this was his first time back since the final outing in 1977!)
At the time, he thought that Royals Stadium was “wonderful” and describes The K as “awesome” now after the recent renovations. Bill fondly remembers the excitement of being a 22-year old rookie in 1969 and pitching against the best of the best. We asked him about his one-hitter, the first in club history. Bill recalled allowing a third inning single to Eddie Leon of the Indians (the Indians also had four walks in the 10-0 KC win on August 9, 1969 in Cleveland). Welcome to Kauffman Stadium, Bill, we’re glad to see you back in KC!